Ischia, a small island off the coast of Naples in Italy, is famous for its thermal spas. The history of the thermal waters and their healing powers is remarkable and goes way back to the dawn of the island.
Today, tourists from all over the world flock to Ischia to take advantage of the water, mud, steam, and various available therapies. As a result, it is one of the world’s capitals for wellness vacations.
You don’t have to be sick or injured to enjoy these offerings. The thermal spas are also a way to unwind and relax. However, those who are pregnant or have heart conditions should refrain. And children are discouraged from going in the thermal waters. Most of the spas have non-thermal pools for families.
Discover the best thermal spas in Ischia, Italy:
Located in the town of Lacco Ameno, Negombo is situated in the Bay of San Montano. It is one of the most picturesque and relaxing beaches on the island. The thermal pools are mostly carved out of the cliffs overlooking the bay, so it is truly an opportunity to be one with nature.
This thermal park always wins with me. It’s by far my favorite of all the big name thermal spas in Ischia. I have recommended it to friends, who have returned to tell me things like, “Negombo is heaven on Earth,” and “I want to just live there.”
What makes the place so special is the natural beauty. Rather than cut down trees and knock down rocks to create pools and spa treatment centers, this place fit those things into the wonders all around it. All the pools are great, but one of the most memorable is the one for your feet and circulation. You walk, Japanese-style, on rocks through naturally hot water and then you walk through a similar pool with ice cold water. The intention is to stimulate blood flow. While shocking, you will feel great afterward.
Poseidon Thermal Gardens
Poseidon may be the best known thermal spa in Ischia. While it is stunningly beautiful, it always takes second place with me. The flowers and plants speak to the island’s nickname of Isola Verde (Green Island), but its pools are the standard ones you’d find anywhere. Located in the Bay of Citara in the town of Forio, this spa gets more sunshine during the summer months. Therefore, you may find yourself lingering well into the evening, which makes for great ROI.
What I enjoy most at Poseidon is taking a nice soak in one of the thermal pools and then napping on the comfortable lounge chairs. I also appreciate that extra bit of sunshine because I like reading when lounging. There’s plenty of light. At Poseidon, I can always find English newspapers, magazines, and even books.
Castiglione Thermal Park
This thermal park is the most family friendly and affordable. While I don’t go to the thermal parks as much as I used to since my son was born, I would pick this one over the others for a family outing. It has a nice “sweet-water” pool. That’s how Italians refer to a traditional pool for family fun. It does not contain thermal water even if it is salt water (some of them are). And admission to this park tends to be cheaper than the others.
Still, it is lovely and the pools are just as refreshing and relaxing as those at the other thermal spas. Located in Casamicciola, Castiglione offers beautiful views all around the park. You might also find yourself lounging under a chestnut tree, which are typical in Ischia.
Di Meglio is the author of Fun with the Family New Jersey (Globe Pequot Press, 2012). She also has written the Our Paesani column for ItaliansRus.com since 2003. You can follow the Italian Mamma on Facebook or Twitter @ItalianMamma10.